German firm Veridos has got the job of preparing about 20 million ePassports and providing other related services for Bangladesh at a cost of around Tk 3,339 crore ($400 million), reports Bangladeshi media.The cabinet committee on purchase approved a home ministry proposal in this regard yesterday.An estimated Tk 4,636 crore, including the payment for the German company, would be spent for the project titled "Introduction of e-passport and automatic border control system in Bangladesh".The Department of Immigration and Passports will implement the project-approved by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council in June-in between July 2018 and June 2028.The company will get Tk 879 crore for hardware, software and other services, including installation of the machineries for producing e-passports in Bangladesh.Once the machineries are installed, the Berliin-based company will provide maintenance service for 10 years for Tk 678 crore.Fifty electronic gates, data and disaster recovery centres and passport printing machines would be set up for the ePassports and to introduce an automated border management system, according to the home ministry proposal.The ePassports would have two validity periods: five and 10 years. Passport officials said the size of e-passports would remain the same as the current machine readable ones.However, the two pages with the passport holder's details, which now appear in the beginning, would be replaced by a polymer card embedded with a chip containing the passport holder's personal information.Such passports, also known as biometric or digital passports, have embedded electronic microprocessor chips which contain biometric information used to authenticate the identity of the holders.Officials said the e-passport system would increase security and accessibility of Bangladeshi passports worldwide.